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tv   Piers Morgan Tonight  CNN  December 10, 2011 12:00am-1:00am EST

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all i care about is that people that are funny clearly be part of the process for a long time tonight, crime and punishment. patricia cornwell the story on real life cases and the death of natalie wood and the courtroom drama that's captivate america, casey anthony, amanda knox, was justice served? i'll ask a man who knows the legal system inside out. another best-selling author, john grich grisham. >> we have the crime of the century every six months. so for people like me who enjoy taking the stories and writing about them, the material send lsz. >> plus, she was born to make it in hollywood. why aren't you as a productive two superstars just lying on some sun lounger in a bikini spending daddy's money being a brat? >> that's a really good question.
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i often ask myself that. >> she is sharing the screen with the muppets. this is "piers morgan tonight." >> she sold 100 million books and scared the living daylights out of people. patricia joins me now. this is going to terrify me. i know it is. >> i think it will. i won't tell you why. you'll start looking around your kitchen in various places and thinking, i don't feel so good about certain things. you wait, you'll see. >> where do you get this desire to scare people? >> you know, i don't know. but when i was a little kid, i was always writing stories and illustrating little books that i would create. and the kids loved me to tell stories to them. i was the favorite babysitter starting at age 12. i remember one day on a vacancy lot with two little boys my neighbors and i started telling a story. i scared them so badly that they started crying and ran home.
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i realized i had this ability to terrify people. i felt terrible about it. i'm carol as i write the books today, i want to hold people in suspense but i don't want to give them terrible nightmares. i fear i failed at my kindness. >> you're one of the best people to ask. what is it? >> you have to have really good characters. if you don't have somebody that you really want to spend time with, it might be -- it's going to be a workman like sort of book. it's not going to be that interesting and passionate. that's why i think the scar petta series worked so well. people like spending time with this character. but you got to do your home work. you need to go out there, be a good journalist. >> you do. you go and immerse yourselves into these worlds. >> i started out in journalism. you know, i went looking for stories. i still go out looking for stories.
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i go to the morgue, the labs, whatever it is. >> on this book, you spent i'm in a female prison in tennessee. and previously you actually witnessed an execution in the preparation for these kind of books. >> you know, the execution, it wasn't researched. i that i would have been really inappropriate. but the victim's family asked me to be a witness to the execution of their daughter's killer in oklahoma. i really thought about it hard. you know what, i'm going to. they asked me to and i really want to understand this. people are always asking me about the death penalty. there are reverberations of what i witnessed in this book in "red mist" because right when they were about to administer the lethal injection to this inmate ten years ago, all of a sudden all the inmates in the prison started kick the doors. and it sounded like the indicates of hell slamming. it was unearthly in which i have a scene where that happens in this book. and the mother of the girl who had been killed was sitting next to me.
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she got this very upset look on her face. and she said to me later that for the first time in all the years that this man had been on death row for this horrible crime he committed she actually envisioned him stabbing his daughter repeatedly with every kick of the doors in that prison. and it itemly caused her to live something she avoided living. and there was so many things that went on with that experience that i've never forgotten. i still see it as if it was yesterday. and i saw him die. >> what conclusions did you draw after that about the death penalty? >> very disturbed. i was very disturbed by it. first of all, it does not deter crime, the death penalty. it doesn't stop people from doing it. and these people are on death row for so many years anyway. the family who was left behind in this case who i spent time talking to, actually the violence created more violence in her mind while she was watching itment she actually saw the violation of her daughter because of the violence of the kicking of the doors and watching somebody to breathe.
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i hope this guy isn't feeling this because his eyes were shut and his diaphragm was frantically pumping up and down trying to get air while his face turned blue. i was rather horrified. i said i hope -- how do you know that someone's not feeling themselves asphyxiate when this, you know, when the medicine is administered. you know, it paralyzes those muscles so you can't breathe. and the thing is also controversial about it, the very quick acting an thetic that is used, it wears off, obviously, very fast. and if you're not doing this exactly as you should, that may wear off before you're paralyzed and then you can't breathe. >> you have such an incredible recall of the details. >> i am a journalist. >> is that how you feel? >> i do. that's why i like journalists so much and get in trouble all the time. i relate to them and then tell them way too much.
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i'm still a journalist. i go out and do reporting. i have my little note books. i take my notes. and i report on things faz i'm going to write a real story about it. but then i weave into fiction and creates a special brand. if i don't do my home work, i have nothing to say. >> where do you draw the line? >> i draw the line like i was saying a minute ago. do you want to watch an execution for research purposes, i would say no. i did not take notes during that or anything. i was there for the family. i've never really written about it either. i wouldn't do -- i wouldn't do anything -- let's say a forensic pathology says take the scalpel, try the y incision this time. i would never do it. that's a real person. they don't want a crime writer experimenting on their dead body, nor do their relatives want that. i have to have certain barriers that i feel i don't go beyond. >> you had a very, very troubled childhood. 5 years old your father left. your mother suffered from
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terrible depression. >> if you had me for a daughter, you would be down, too. >> you and your brother spent time in a foster home and you were sexually molested by a patrolman. all this, you know, any of those thing was have been unsettling for any young child. to have all of that stuff going on, very, very tough for you i would have thought. >> you know, but i don't regret any of it. i'm so grateful because i think it helped make me who i am. you know, my father leaving when he did made me want to be a better father than he was meaning i wanted to be strong and self-sufficient and take care of other people if i could later on in life. you know, the abusive situation in the foster home i think that's why i have a lot of female villians in my books. this was a woman who was very abusive to me psychologically. sometimes they can make you stronger. just like having your first books rejected. that is the best thing that do
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happen to me. now i'm determined to stay where i am because i know what it's like not to be there. >> how do you feel about the people that rejected you? >> well, the first three books i wrote they should have rejected, they were really awful. they were my learning experience. i really didn't understand why post mortem was rejected. but i could understand people understanding the world i was trying to tell them about. and i understood what i was doing was very different. i was disappointed. but i never felt any sort of gloating thing about those people. i don't even know who most of them were. i'm just very grateful that they were wrong. >> take a little break and talk about you have a good connection to billy graham and his family and to the bush familiment let's talk about that and about politics and some of the juicy crime stories over the last year. it's been quite a year for crime. >> it has been quite a year for crime. >> hold your thoughts.
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my guest is patricia cornwell. talk about your link to billy graham. >> there is a strange link. most people completely misunderstand it. they were my neighbors when growing up in a little town. i didn't know billy. i mean i would see him occasionally when he came into town. he was, of course, the most famous man in the world at that time. but ruth is the one i knew. she was the one who stayed home and, you know, if i was walking to the tennis courts with my brother's hand me downs on and my little bag of flat tennis balls, she would stop and give me a ride. i got to know her. she's a very kind, wonderful person. she was my friend. but in terms of the entire context of the grahams and their organization, i had nothing to do with any of that. it was just the woman on the mountain who i would go visit and who helped me with money and college and did all kinds of wonderful things and became a very special friend. so i wrote her biography. and interestingly enough, you
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mentioned politics a little bit earlier. that segued into my meeting barbara bush because i interviewed barbara bush whether i did the ruth graham biography. and then later she got me involved in her literacy programs when i became a novelist. and so my relationship with the bushes started out completely friendship literacy directed. had nothing to do with politics. a lot of people think i'm some diehard republican or used to be. but, in fact, some of the early relationships of mine were completely friendship that's had nothing to do with politics. >> and are you a democrat? >> i think i am a democrat now. i'd be anything where something somebody really good wants to run our country. >> is president obama that person? >> i think we should give him another chance. how does anybody clean up this mess after three or four years? i'm not any owe fish nad yoe or expert when it comes to politics at all. i would like to give -- i'd like him to have another chance to finish what he started. this was a terrible legacy. >> and also big crime stories this year and big trials and so on.
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what do you make of, let's take natalie wood case being reopened. if you're a crime writer, do you read that kind of thing in the paper and get, you know, pretty excited? >> ai not only heard about that, i looked at the autopsy reported. i wanted to see for myself. >> did you? >> i read all 20 pages of it. >> what was your conclusion? >> that it was a really well done autopsy and there is no evidence whatsoever that she was a victim of foul play. she's a classic drawning case. now what led up to that, that's something that investigation has to prove. science and medicine are not going to change that story. even the bruises they made so much out of, they're consistent with a body that recovered from water. bodies get banged up. it's not pretty. and so in her -- her post mortem artifacts are consistent with her dying very shortly after she went in the water, not having been out there for five hours or something. you have to have some understanding of what these things mean. they're easily misinterpreted.
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but, you know, i say all the time now that science and medicine don't solve crimes, people do. and that's a perfect case that's going to be investigation and witness reports that might bring a little more clarity to that very sad night 30 years ago. >> if i'm watching this interview as a woman, i'm thinking patricia cornwell looks bloody good for whatever age you must be. >> i have a drip of ferm ald hide every morning before my coffee. don't tell anybody though. >> i wouldn't know how old you are. >> i'm 55. >> listen, you just had jane fonda on and saying the same thing about her. that's your line. i got you all figured out. >> she is 74. >> listen, i'd like to look like that at 34. wow. >> how do you keep in such good looks? >> i go to the gym. i do walking and i try stay fit. i believe alcohol helps preserve you. isn't true? we put specimens on it. >> we british follow that philosophy. >> i try to take care of myself. i'm vein, so i do whatever it
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takes. >> do you have crazies coming after you? >> sure, you get some. there are a lot of disturbed people out there. you know, it's just smart to be vigilant. i can't imagine you don't worry about the same thing. i mean i read your tweets. i thought you were being followed the other day. i know a lot about you. you better watch out. you better worry about me. >> you and i have -- we have a twitter relationship. >> well, you got me in so much trouble because i was going through my tweets. i saw you say i don't know why i bother. i thought oh, boy, he's having a bad day. poor piers. so i tweeted back and said but everybody loves that you do. and suddenly i had cyber beer bottles being flung at me from the uk. all these rage soccer fans, i mean football fans. i had no idea what i just walked into. >> if i reply to someone well known and they're not expecting what's coming, it can be quite a difficult moment. >> i've never been called such names in my life. i really turned three shades of white. >> i can only apologize. i deliberately enflame the
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soccer fans. >> you do do it deliberately. >> i watched, yes. >> it just amuses me. it's very childish but i enjoy it. pa trish yashgs it's been a great pleasure. >> this has been great fun. >> i'm told that arrange leana joe lee may be playing sc ax rpetta? >> we're attached. >> how cool is that? >> i think it's going to be way cool, lots of fun. >> it was a cracking book, "red mist." warmly recommended. it will send chills down your spine. that's what you want to hear. >> absolutely. >> patricia, thank you so much. >> so much fun. thank you. i really appreciate you having me on your show. >> don't go anywhere. you're not allowed to. >> oh, okay. >> next up, john grisham, best-selling author, what do you think of the cases that fascinate america? [ male announcer ] sorry, buddy. truth is, nyquil doesn't un-stuff your nose. what?
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we all know john grisham as an author of legal thrillers. he's also in a real life crusade, one that put him in front of a senate committee this week. he is working the innocence project to save people who are behind bars after being wrongfully convicted. john grisham joins me now. i've been curious about this. your books got me through many a vacation. will you ever think about that time before you sold a quarter of a billion books, before you all the movies were made based on the books and now grossed a billion dollars worldwide, you
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were a humble criminal lawyer. do you ever do that? >> i think about it every day. i still get inspiration from cases i had back then, clients i knew, people i knew back 20, 30 years ago. that's where many of the ideas come from for novels today. so i have never gotten away from those days whether i was a young lawyer in the trenches and, you know, fighting to help people who were accused, sometimes falsely accused. i think that's led to my work with the innocence project today and tomorrow. >> what was the moment for you when you thought i'm going to be a writer. i'm going to make money and a career out of this. was there a wakeup moment where you went, whoa? >> no, it was very gradual. after i had been a lawyer for five or six years, i started playing around with fiction. i had an idea for a novel, a courtroom drama as seen through the eyes of this young idealistic attorney in a small town in mississippi.
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and i began writing this book, you know, sort of as a secret hobby. and the success of the writing, even though it was a five-year process of writing to the two books back to back, the success hit quickly. and i could walk away from the law office. i never once said okay, i'm tired of being a lawyer. i'm going to be a writer. it just sort of gradually happened until one day when i could walk away. >> well the firm obviously became fantastic success in terms of the book and movie. let's see a clip from the movie and talk with you about it afterwards. >> let me get this straight. steal files from the firm, turn them over to the fbi. testify against my colleagues, send them to jail. >> they suckered you into this. >> reveal privilege information that violates attorney-client confidence gets me disbarred and then testify in open court against the mafia. let me ask you something, are you out of your.
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[ beep ] mind? >> tom cruise in "the firm." i noticed, by wait, that every single lawyer in these movies of your books are incredibly good looking. tom cruise, matt dame on, julia roberts, sandra bullock, matthew mccon hay, susan sayer done. no ugly lawyers. but that's not true in real life, is it? >> it's certainly not true in real life. i have nothing to do with the casting of the movies. in fact, i have nothing to do with the movies, period. especially the early films when i just went to the set one time and said hello and never went back. and i hoped the movies were good. the movies were good. i mean i've had nine of my books adapted to film. and almost all were enjoyable. i've been very lucky with hollywood and look forward to more moofies being adapted. i don't get involved in that process. i know nothing about making movies. i stay away from it and hope for the best. >> let's talk about the
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innocence project. it's been running theme i felt this year of miscarriages of justice, particularly since the discovery of dna, overturning previous convictions and so on. the debate is raging about the death penalty. there are so many people now who are saying hang on a second. you know, if we now have dna evidence, how many people on death row, for example, are actually innocent? what do you make of that debate given the way that law has changed due to technology in many ways? >> well, if not for dna, there would be no innocence project. there would be no innocence movement. there would be no effort to change laws, to prevent wrongful convictions. dna is made all the difference in the world because of dna you know by clear biological proof that if a person is guilty or innocent. with the innocence project, we're to 280 people exonerated by dna. 17 of whom are on death row.
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and of those 280, at least half were convicted with science that was not really sound in the courtroom. and that's what we're trying to do now here in washington tomorrow in congress is try to work with congress to adopt some type of national standard for for nzic sciences. because the forensic science world is not -- is not too well organized and it's not always fair. because there's a lot of bad science that kind of contaminates trials. and because of that, a lot of innocent people get convicted. they go to prison. and some go to death row. and that's what we're trying to prevent. >> i mean you're from mississippi. they have the death penalty there. would you advocate the end of the death penalty? do you think it's time to move on? >> personally, yeah, i'm opposed to the death penalty, very much opposed to it for a lot of reasons. moral reasons but also questions of fairness, how it's implemented.
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and we have a long, long sad list of people who -- innocent people who have been convicted and sent to prison with because of bad science. and we're trying to clean up that aspect. there are a lot of reasons for wrongful convictions. and the number one reason is improper eyewitness identification. eyewitness id is famously unreliable. number two is bad forensic science. experts are allowed to testify in trials using methods and theories that are not proven and not accurate. false confessions, false testimony from jailhouse snitches. misconduct by police and prosecutors, bad defense lawyers. there's a long list of reasons why wrongful convictions happen and they happen all the time. and what's hard for me to finally believe, piers, years ago is that there are thousands of innocent people in prison.
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and so that means there are thousands of guilty people who are still out there doing their dirty work. and that's the mission of the innocence project in new york is to exonerate people who have been wrongfully convicted and also work from a policy angle with congress and state legislatures to prevent future wrongful convictions. >> john, let's take a short break. i want to talk to you about the high profile trials we've had this year, casey anthony, the michael jackson trial of conrad murray, amanda knox and so on and get your perspective from a criminal lawyer point of view and also as a top selling author about the crime. yummy. [ woman ] lower cholesterol. [ man 2 ] yummy. i got that wrong didn't i? [ male announcer ] want great taste and whole grain oats that can help lower cholesterol? honey nut cheerios. helps defends against occasional constipation, diarrhea, gas and bloating.
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i checked with all my sources last night at the bureau, langley, the white house, all of them said the brief doesn't exist, never has. you may be the only witness that can ever prove there was a brief. if you disappear, so does justice. >> from the movie version of another grisham blockbuster "the pelican brief." there have been three trials that i covered a lot this year. i'm curious what your instinctive criminal lawyer verdict would have been based on everything you read about them. one was the infamous casey anthony trial. what did you think of that? >> didn't really follow that
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closely. i'm really suspicious of trials where the cameras are in the courtroom because it creates this circus around the courtroom that i think really does not help us pursue justice. az understand the as i understand the case and you can't completely avoid the case, the prosecution could not prove the place of death, cause of death, you know, none of the basic things you have to prove. and i think the jury was face the with a very difficult task. but probably made the right decision. the prosecution has to walk into court and prove basic elements of the crime. if that's not done, then the jury must acquit the accused. so, again, i don't know a lot about it just based on what i picked up with everybody else
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and saw on television, that is my shoot from the hip reaction to it. >> well, i totally agree with you about the cameras. in britain, for example, we don't allow cameras into the courtroom. and it brings with it that decision i think a much higher level of seriousness to the proceedings. and it makes it much less of a soap opera. watching that casey anthony thing, i remember people fighting to get into the courtroom. as if they were attending some kind of showbiz event. i mean that to me is ridiculous. >> it becomes entertainment. it becomes something other than pursuitst truth and of justice. you know, i was -- i think it goes back to the o.j. simpson trial. the cameras in the courtroom did so much to sort of pervert the quest for justice and the truth in that case. i'm very much opposed to cameras in courtrooms. >> on the second trial that attracted lots after tension was
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the amanda knox case. it involved a british girlho died and was an american girl. my sense after all that is it was extraordinary being in britain and america and seeing how differently the media covered that in both countries. and if it had been the other way around, if it was an american girl killed and a british girl charged with the murder, i think you would have seen the media conference completely reversed. media coverage can have a big effect, i think, on some trials like this. >> piers, it is worse than. that it goes beyond that. it so term yates our culture because if, you know, if you look at the duke lacrosse case, we should have learned, we should have reminded ourselves at that time that in this country there is a presumpresum presungs of innocence. when we see a sensational trial, we just immediately forget about
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the presupgs of innocence. it's it's the pruls of guilty. it's difficult for a fair people to get a trial if it's it notorious. by the time you get to the courtroom, you're fighting an uphill battle if you're walking into court presumed to be innocent when most people think you're guilty anyway. it's very troubling to see how we handle these cases after, you know, beginning with the arrest and the pretrial motions and the pretrial court hearings and the police leaked information to the press. you know, you had this circus ahead of time before you ever get down to the actual trial where the truth and facts are presented, supposedly fairly to a injure.
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the full blown giuliani style press conference was just to say hey, look at us. we've got the indictment which is a far away from the trial. then you got the defense lawyers on the steps of the courthouse, you know, chasing cameras and spouting all this kind of stuff. so you get into this media fight long before the trial. and both sides are wrong. it is -- it's very troubling to me as someone who thinks the law still should be fair and you have the right to a fair trial and someone who enjoys creating the stories and writing about them. >> the final case, i was just going to put to you is the conrad murray trial, obviously involved in the death of michael jackson. do you think the right verdict was reached in that case? >> you know, i hate to pass judgment. again, i don't know all of the facts and i didn't follow it that closely.
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again, when i -- you know, when the case is coming out of california and you have the cameras in the courtroom, i get real suspicious and turn it offer. i'm not passing judgment on dr. furrey because i don't know much about him. >> go ahead. you mention these three cases and i'm constantly asks where you do you get the ideas and information for the novelsment you just mentioned three that hatched this year. we have the crime of the century every six months. and so for people like me who enjoy taking the stories and running behind them, the material sendless. >> terrific writing and john, more important, i think this is an outstanding project that you're involved w i feel very strongly about these miscarriages of justice. >> thank yous for having me. >> the daughter of hollywood legend. she was born to be a star. now..when you download a song on the go,
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[ indistinct conversations ] [ hissing ]
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agents, what did we learn here today? that lint balls are extremely flammable! well, yeah. and that 15,000 dryer fires happen every year! that's why it's important to regularly clean and inspect your vents! correct. where did you get that?! i built it. [ male announcer ] we are insurance. ♪ we are farmers ♪ bum, ba-da-bum, bum, bum, bum ♪ she was born to be a star. her father is quincy jones and her mother was an actress. what would compare to her latest role opposite miss piggy. what a moment. >> what a moment. >> the muppets, miss piggy, dream come true? >> dream come true. i thought about just offing myself right after it happened.
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how is it going to get any better than this? >> let's have a look at this. this is the stuff of dreams. >> who is hosting? did you fund a celebrity? >> yeah, i wanted to talk to you about that. you see? actually, i'm kind of a celebrity. >> you? no. kermit, listen, i will not air the show unless you find a real celebrity host. i will rerun benson if i have to. >> it's a great movie. >> it is a great movie. >> it's ripping up the box office. >> it broke my heart to have to tell the muppets that they weren't famous. because there is -- >> you told kermit, he is the most famous animal ever created. >> in my brain. >> he is 70. >> i know. >> how could do you that? >> best acting i've ever done in my life. >> you should be an absolute spoiled brat. so what went wrong. >> thank you. >> what went wrong? >> you're perfectly nice. my early experience of you a few
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moments ago confirmed this. why aren't you as a productive two superstars just lying on some sun lounger in a bikini spending daddy's money being a brat? >> that's a really good question. i often ask myself that. no, my parents are -- they're great people. and they are priorities were very much in check when my sister and i were born. they just wanted to have a normal family. and my dad also kind of got more famous as i was a kid. i mean he didn't really become a face, a celebrity until i was about 8. so it wasn't really like a, you know, i wasn't a celebrity household. >> your house must have been like a daily walk of fame and notoriety and legends. i mean everyone must have been coming through. >> there was a lot of legendary personalities. >> start name-dropping. biggest names? >> michael jackson, ray charles. >> didn't you go to town with
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michael jackson once and play complete strangers with a water pistol. >> it was a childish prank, yeah. >> you did that? >> yeah. >> i'm not making excuses. >> what's what was he like? >> he was wonderful. he was a big kid. he really was that. it wasn't -- he was so innocent. and just a big kid. and to me, at that age he just was like me but taller and very much more talented. >> that guy just knew how to do it, didn'the? >> he d but he was also had this thing just bubbling over. he had no choice. i mean when you sound like that and dance like that, what choice do you have? >> is it true that frank sinatra offered to go and smack a few skulls. >> it was a suggestion. it was a suggestion. i went to go see him in vegas when ways 18. my dad was very good friends with him. and we had a hard time my sister and her boyfriend an i had a hard time getting backstage as
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one would at a frank sinatra show. when we got back we said we had a hard time. he said do you want me to talk to somebody? we were like, no. because we know what that is. so, no. >> that would have been -- >> i don't know. he definitely was foremidable to say the least. >> so you shoot strangers with water, you have frank sinatra and -- >> you make me sound like a weirdo. >> you are a weirdo. greatest entertainers ever. >> it was the same to me. >> did he make you feel i want to be part of this? your career root tok a celebrity who is an actress and so on isn't the normal one. you went to harvard. you could have been a lawyer, maybe even a politician. you might still do both those things. we'll talk about of that abreak. did you have any kind of gut thing you wanted to be like them, be a star? >> well, you know, the star part of it was never interesting to me. it was actually kind of scary. i have to say, you know, i've
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seen so many people go through the cycle and become famous and not famous anymore and, you know, want -- have their priorities change and want different things. it was never anything that really interested me. and still it's a biproduct. but for me, it was my dad's connection to his music. and his love for what he did and how hard he fought to be the kind of musician he was and the kind of person he was simultaneously. that's what was interesting. and i thought whatever i can do to find that amount of passion and pursue something like that, i would be so lucky to be able to do that. >> i hear that he carries newspaper clippings of you around wherever he in the world. >> he does. >> he folds it and puts it in his little pocket. >> that is so sweet. so sweet. he's so cute, my dad. >> i bet he's a great dad. >> what does he think your biggest talent is? >> that's funny. you know, he still has -- he
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holds out hopes for me and music. and he knows how much i -- >> both your parents, i've seen them on the records. you're a fantastic singer, never mind the acting. >> it's something that i love to do. but i feel so strongly that i want to be so good at it and i want to know music in and out. want to know theory. want to lock myself in a room for six months and just know it, you know, know music in and out and feel comfortable with it. but unless i could devote my soul it to, i wouldn't want to do it. i would want to make him proud. >> i bet you do. >> yeah. >> produced by quincy jones. home run, isn't it? >> yeah. >> let's take a break and talk about politics with you. >> oh, boy. >> you have flirted with the idea that you may one day mach a run at something. i want to find out what. >> oh, boy, okay. what's this? it's progresso's new loaded potato with bacon. it's good. honey, i love you...
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>> sunday night, cnn heroes, an all-star tribute. for five year, you have been telling us about people in your communities helping others in the public eye. now we are shining a spotlight on these inspiring heroes. >> since 2007, cnn viewers have helped us find these rare individuals, submitting more than 40,000 nominations from more than 100 countries. from those thousands, we have honored just 164 men, women and young people worldwide as cnn heroes. they are all determined, resourceful, passionate and their missions run the gamut. >> go, girls, go, good job. >> sustaining life. breeze serving dignity. >> oh, good. >> protect the powerless.
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defending the planet. >> you want to come touch the turtle? >> nour rib, the soul. >> we will be here for you. we will help you out. >> they have helped hundreds of thousands of people in 75 countries creating a legacy of change around the world. >> tonight we gathered to honor the best humanity has to offer. each fall, we select an even more elite group you can the top ten heroes of the year, the award brings $50,000 and global recognition at cnn heroes, an all-star tribute, which honors their selfless work. >> they are pretty amazing. >> absolutely doing everything from the goodness of their heart, great to give people their attention. that night, we announce the hero of the year the person with the most online votes who receives an additional $250,000. but it is the exposure, the so the sport light on the world stage that benefits all our heroes the most. since 2007, our honorees have raised more than $6 million in donations and grants. with their courage and humanity, our cnn heroes are still
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lighting the way, inspiring others to follow their example. >> i will be there sunday night you 8 eastern, cnn heroes, an all-star tribute hosted by my colleague, anderson cooper, live from l.a. shrine auditorium. you don't want to make this, it will make a cracking evening.
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>> hey, did you maybe tell people that i diagnosed that guy with mumps based on his porn photo? >> i did, so proud of you. >> okay, because now i have everyone at city hall sending me pictures of their junk asking me if they have mumps. >> oh, my god. your inbox is literally filled with penises. i'm so sorry. >> oh, look, ed miller from
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payroll. >> rashida jones, nbc's "parks and recreation," he is a funny guy you rob lowe, i loved interviewing him. >> he is so great. rolo, as i call him. he is so great. and i've kind of known him over the years, just because, you know, we have both been kicking around for a long time. >> now, he was quite keen, when i interviewed him, flirt with the idea of maybe becoming a politician, he was serious, i was asking about sam seaborne and "west wing" and you have done the same, i would love to be a seine to you once said, governor or work in the public sector. >> you know, i definitely have an inclination to work in the public sector and i feel like if you at all have that instinct, at some point in your life, you should probably do it, because i think it can be potentially hellish and i don't think everybody wants to do that so i feel like if you want to do that you should probably serve some sort of public office. >> you also came up with a very unique way, i thought you of solving the economic crisis.
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let's take a look at this clip from "funny or die." >> the global financial crisis is affecting all of us. >> the panic on wall street has now reached main street. >> there doesn't seem to be a clearer answer. >> and the worst may be yet to come. >> after careful consideration, rashida and i have determined the best course course of action. >> puppies. >> yay. ♪ >> that is funny. >> yeah, good. we wanted to do something for the campaign. we were kind of, you know, poking a little bit of fun at the black and white seriousness of, you know, actors being like, it's time for change and change is now and here we are. >> it was so, so on the money. >> thanks. >> here is the weird thing about you, so, you're very funny, you're very charming, dare i say it attractive. you've dated some of the hottest guys in the world. and yet currently, as i sit here opposite you, this would excite a lot of men watching this you are single.
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what's going on? >> um -- >> >> how did this happen? >> this is a little bit of a choice for me. my career is paramount at the moment. i've had a lot of luck in the past couple of years and i want to be open to it and available to it and my career right now is very time consuming and i like it that way. it's good. i'm acting and i'm writing and it's taking up a lot of my energy. i'm also, you know, i'm picky. >> >> are you? what's your perfect man? >> it's you. you know t don't put me on the spot like this. >> i know that. >> don't do that. >> this is getting very awkward. i'm sorry. move on. chelsea handler did this it is uncomfortable for me. >> you're blushing. i can tell. >> all good fun. if you can't have me, not ruling anything out here, let's not be too hasty, who would be the perfect guy be? >> i don't know. i guess, you know, funny is important. >> make you laugh or laugh at your jokes?
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>> he doesn't have to laugh at my jokes, these make me laugh. >> do you dream wistfully of a fairy tale wedding and children, that kind of thing, or not really? when i've sign you interviewed before, marriage, you are not that hung up on marriage. >> i'm not incredibly hung up. i've been kind of misrepresented here and there about that, but i just think that marriage, you know, it was -- this is just factual. it was an institution that was created for property and power dynamic and to marry two powerful families and to make sure that the property was, you know, given to the right people. >> make it sound so cynical. love and romance? >> then it was. it became that during renaissance. i totally appreciate it. believe in love and romance and all that the actual institution of marriage in this country, more than half the people get divorced, so, something's not working. not staying doesn't work for everybody. i love going to weddings and totally support my friends that
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are married. i just don't know if it works all together across-the-board. that's what i'm saying. >> what is the great ambition, an oscar, yourself up in lights, academy awards? rashed dark come on down. >> only if you can say that over the lights. yeah. i would be interested. >> i would love to introduce you as the winner of an award, the holy grail for you as a performer? >> you know, i was thinking about this, i have never won anything before as a performer, so that would be really cool. for me, i feel like i just want to keep things interestingism want to stay curious and i want to keep acting because i love it but i want to do other things, too. you know, i want to find challenging roles and i want to you know, i want to not be put in a box. >> if i said it right, i could award rashida a grammy for an album produced by you, quincy jones or an oscar, which one would he go for? >> i think he would go for the grammy, because he really wants me to sing. >> i think you should do it. >> okay. >> winn you make the album, i want the first interviit

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